El Nino study challenges global warming intensity link

global_elnino

From Scientific American via Reuters

By David Fogarty, Climate Change Correspondent, Asia

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Research showing an El Nino event in 1918 was far stronger than previously thought is challenging the notion climate change is making El Nino episodes more intense, a U.S. scientist said on Tuesday.

El Nino causes global climate chaos such as droughts and floods. The events of 1982/83 and 1997/98 were the strongest of the 20th Century, causing loss of life and economic havoc through lost crops and damage to infrastructure.

But Ben Giese of Texas A&M University said complex computer modelling showed the 1918 El Nino event was almost as strong and occurred before there was much global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels or widespread deforestation.

The outcome of the research was valuable for several reasons, Giese told Reuters from Perth in Western Australia.

“It questions the notion that El Ninos have been getting stronger because of global warming,” he said ahead of a presentation of his team’s research at a major climate change conference in Perth.

The 1918 event also co-incided with one of India’s worst droughts of the 20th century.

“We know that El Ninos and drought in India are often related to each other,” he said.

El Nino is an abnormal warming of the surface waters in the eastern Pacific off South America that causes the normally rainy weather in the western Pacific to shift further to the east.

This causes drought in parts of Australia, Southeast Asia and India as well as flooding in Chile and Peru, colder and wetter winters in the southern United States and fewer Atlantic hurricanes.

The droughts in Australia of 1982-83 and 1997-98 rank among the worst in the nation’s modern history. Drought also occurred in eastern Australia from 1918-20.

Giese said his team ran a complex ocean computer model that, for the first time, used the results of a separate atmospheric model produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The result was a simulation of ocean temperatures, currents and other measures from 1908 to 1958.

For 1918, the simulation produced a strong abnormal surface warming in the central Pacific and weaker warming nearer the South American coast.

There were very few measurements of the tropical Pacific during 1918, the last year of World War One, and ship-based measurements along the South American coast suggested only a weak El Nino.

This, Giese said, reinforced the point that there is limited data about El Ninos prior to the 1950s and that computer models were one way to get a clearer picture of the past.

“We cannot rely on what El Nino looks like today to try to understand what El Nino patterns looked like in the past.”

“It makes it a challenge to talk about El Nino and global warming because we simply don’t have a detailed record,” he added.

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127 thoughts on “El Nino study challenges global warming intensity link

  1. “But Ben Giese of Texas A&M University said complex computer modelling showed the 1918 El Nino event was almost as strong and occurred before there was much global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels or widespread deforestation.
    Not sure if I did that right, oh well. What’s the deal with the semantics here?

  2. The place is 4.5 billion years old. It has a molten core. It has gone from barren rock to habitable by terrestrial life forms for the last 500 million years (your number may differ). Plate tectonics keeps moving the land forms. Ice Ages come and go. Species come and go. There are mass extinctions. Volcanoes erupt. Exotic objects impact the surface and leave large craters. It somewhat regularly flips its magnetic polarity. Sometimes it is warmer and sometimes it is colder. I have found Douglas fir cones in the drill mud at Prudhoe Bay from somewhere in the upper 1,200′ of soil.
    Why would anyone expect stasis? Evolution is accepted by everyone but the climate types. The entire earth history says it will change, but does not say any given species will like the change. Adaptation is considered a key factor in evolution, but apparently no longer functions.
    It is what it is. We an try to understand and explain it, but it is what it is.

  3. sorry to bringing this from the Hansen thread, but I think it is important to draw attention to it:
    OT IMPORTANT
    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25239707-23109,00.html
    Obama invites online questions
    Reuters
    US President Barack Obama today encouraged Americans to submit their questions about the economy over the internet and said he will answer some of them live on the White House website on Friday.
    Why is this coming from australia?
    Since popularity of questions is the order, how about the best science blog US participants forming a good question on the relevance of CO2 to climate and economy?

  4. And on topic: The more scientists reveal the extent of uncertainty in climate data and conclusions, the better chance to stop the CO2 bandwagon. Though our real hope is the deus ex machina of the PDO etc.

  5. Excellent article. Great find that one is. Well, that strikes a blow FOR computer models, since the research does not back up the AGW automatically. As long as the data is publicly available for scrutiny and the simulations can afterwards be duplicated by others to get the same result on the 1918 El Nino, then with that caveat I’d say we have a winner. Plus, this ends the argument that computer modeling is the be-all and end-all of the global warming hypothesis; that computer models naturally and accurately back up AGW-related assertions about the climate, past and present. Very nice!

  6. “It is what it is. We an try to understand and explain it, but it is what it is.”
    “Adaptation is considered a key factor in evolution, but apparently no longer functions.”
    A handshake for you if we ever cross paths. That is exactly how I am looking at this whole ordeal. We are focusing on carbon, and ignoring the adaptation alternative, which does not bode well for a society that largely is dependent on others bringing food to market. Honestly, what percent of the world right now do you think knows how to farm?

  7. anna v. is right. We should be part of the process. Here is the president’s web page to get started: click
    Ask questions! Like: why spend $Trillions on CO2 mitigation when the planet is cooling, and CO2 is a non-harmful, beneficial plant food?
    And: Why are you allowing James Hansen to hijack science by accepting outside advocacy funding?
    And… well, I’m sure you can think of plenty of other questions.

  8. There was a severe drought and famine in India and China in 1876-1878. This is reported anecdotally in the book El Nino: Unlocking the Secrets of the Master Weather-Maker, by J. Madeleine Nash, (2002) Warner Books. This begins on page 36 as Nash introduces the players who first investigated the Southern Oscillation, Blanford and Walker. One might guess from this that the 1918 event reported on by Ben Giese is not the only event worthy of attention as regards, “those that came before AGW.”
    Giese should ask for more funding.

  9. How about, “Since NASA’s Aqua satellite has falsified CO2 positive feedback theory, why spend $Trillions . . . (etc.)”
    As for modeling, it all depends on the model.
    They are going about it all wrong. By analogy, they are trying to model the Russian front in WWII using Sniper rules. They’ll never do that. But one can do it quite reasonably using an army-level mechanic.
    They should be looking at it top-down, not bottom up. A typical mistake of modelers (and wargame designers).

  10. Terry J (20:50:27) : “Evolution is accepted by everyone . . . “
    Don’t you wish? This week the Texas School Board is set to vote on a curriculum designed to challenge the guiding principle of evolution. The chairman, Dr. Don McLeroy, believes God created Earth 10,000 years ago.
    Article in the Wall Street Journal, p. A5, Monday 3/23/2009.

  11. “It is what it is. We an try to understand and explain it, but it is what it is.”
    Good one Terry. I’m just along for the ride too.

  12. The oceans are a “cold” store, not a “heat” store. The warmest level of the oceans is always on top radiating to space and the atmosphere 24/7. Warming from insolation is only a few hours a day, much less than 12, and then only along a relatively narrow band.. When cold water comes to the surface the effect on the atmosphere is immediate, through conduction, convection and radiation. Normal atmospheric movement will spread the effects far and wide.
    Just my opinion.

  13. The Federation drought in Australia (pre 1901 lasting for some 10-12 years) saw many people leaving the land certain that it would never rain again. It wasn’t global warming then and it is not now, it’s just the natural cycle of life on this beautiful planet.

  14. Drought also occurred in eastern Australia from 1918-20. cut
    But Ben Giese of Texas A&M University said complex computer modelling showed the 1918 El Nino event was almost as strong and occurred before there was much global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels or widespread deforestation.

    I believe as a skeptic, that when computer models conflict with the data we have, then it’s probably the model that is wrong.
    With that in mind, then what data do we have?
    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadsst2/diagnostics/global/nh+sh/monthly
    Graph here:-
    http://i599.photobucket.com/albums/tt74/MartinGAtkins/GlobalSST-ALL.jpg
    1918-1920 was probably La Nina and not El Nino.

  15. Global warming is making El Ninos more severe? Sez who? Can’t variations in the severity of El Ninos be more simply explained by the PDO?
    And as for adaption … yes, the human species will adapt. It doesn’t mean you, or your family, or your ethnic group, or your country will successfully adapt. I liken the effects of global warming to the 1066 invasion of Britain. Britain adapted, but you wouldn’t have wanted to have been an Anglo-Saxon at that time.
    My arguments are here, third heading down. (First I dispose of the mythical threat of runaway warming, second I dispose of being saved by a cooling event, third I address adaptation.) Rebuttals welcome.

  16. Just looking at the Hadley Centre NINO3.4 SST anomaly data will show that El Nino events are not getting more intense.
    Based on the HADSST2 data, the 1887/88/89 El Nino (2-year El Nino) peaked at just over 4 deg C, and the 1918/19 El Nino, the basis for the article, topped out at 3.6 deg C, where the 1997/98 El Nino had a maximum NINO3.4 SST anomaly of just over 3 deg C.
    http://s5.tinypic.com/6j3u5i.jpg
    The Hadley Centre’s SST data (HADISST) with a higher resolution rearranges the large events in early years and trims some of the excess from those significant El Nino events. Based on the HADISST data, the 1887/88/89 El Nino had a peak SST anomaly essentially equal to the 1997/98 El Nino, but the 1887/88/89 El Nino lasted through two winters. The 1888/89 El Nino is larger than the 1972/73 El Nino. The 1918/19 El Nino, however, was downscaled.
    http://s5.tinypic.com/2con29d.jpg
    In a post called “A Different Way to Look At Nino3.4 Data”…
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/11/different-way-to-look-at-nino34-data.html
    …I smoothed NINO3.4 SST anomaly data with a 2-year (25-month) filter to emphasize multiyear El Nino events. I discussed the logic for it in that post. When the 2-year smoothing is applied, the 1887/88/89 El Nino remains the largest in the HADSST2 data, and note effect on the THREE successive (moderate) El Nino events in 1939/40, 1940/41, and 1941/42. When smoothed with a 2-year filter, those El Nino events in the early 1940s become more significant than the 1997/98 El Nino.
    http://s5.tinypic.com/2ijgtgh.jpg
    The same thing holds true for the HADISST anomaly data.
    http://s5.tinypic.com/2e67oxv.jpg
    Also the thought the global warming intensifies El Ninos may be the wrong way to look at it. You can reproduce most of the global temperature anomaly curve with the first derivative of scaled NINO3.4 SST anomaly data. Then you add noise from volcanic eruptions, solar and ENSO and it reproduces global temperature better than most GCMs. So maybe it’s the fact that the frequency and magnitude of El Nino events vary that causes the global warming. I illustrated that in my post “Reproducing Global Temperature With Natural Forcings”.
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/01/reproducing-global-temperature.html

  17. This is where computer modeling can do the most good. Models aren’t very good at projecting into the future but they are good at filling in gaps in our knowledge. When you know something about the conditions at beginning and the end, and maybe even some things about the middle you can model to fill in the missing knowledge. You can “fit” your data to the knowns and calculate the unknowns with a high degree of confidence. The models work because they are bounded by known quantities and the deltas can be constrained. Further, you can apply the same model to situations in which more was known, perhaps the whole scenario, and see if it holds up. When projecting into the future the unknowns quickly outweigh the knowns and the deltas become nothing more than guess work.

  18. An anecdotal note; a severe drought was experienced in the upper Midwest during the summer/fall of 1918. A large forest fire in northern Minnesota killed some 2000 people and burned several towns to the ground. The fire was attributed to natural causes due to the dry conditions. Change is a constant.

  19. The climate researchers are starting to rediscover the ocean cycles again after relying too much on the global circulation / global warming models over the last 20 years.
    Effectively, the models even excluded these effects since ocean cycles were not thought of as “external forcing”.
    But after several years of cooling, they had to start taking this into account again. GISS even appends the Nino 3.4 index to one of their charts now.
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.E.gif
    What they will find out, however, if they take this a little farther is that their GHG warming estimates are way off.
    The decline in the ENSO and the AMO and the souther ocean from 1946 to 1976 was accounted for in the models through Aerosols. The uptick in the ENSO and the AMO from 1977 to 1998 (2006) was interpreted in the models as the GHG signal. So they got both of these external forcings off by half through not properly taking into account the internal forcing of ocean cycles.

  20. I am certian now that AGW is about redistribution of wealth and a tax opportunity for Governments and nothing else. It’s good that this site and others are pointing out all of problems that Hansen and Gore cannot continue to ignore.
    keep it going, the truth will win in the end.

  21. ” Richard111 (22:18:47) :
    The oceans are a “cold” store, not a “heat” store. ”
    This is a typical misunderstanding.
    The oceans contain massive amounts of heat and without them the Earth would be a very cold place.
    Don’t confuse temperature with heat. temperature is only directly related to heat in any given medium, change the specific heat capacity and 2 objects at the same temperature can contain totally different amounts of heat.
    DaveE.

  22. Should Obama be asked why Hansen is not subject to the Hatch Act as every other government employee?

  23. The more scientific challenges to Global Warming, the better. I don’t know if I can bring myself to address the TOTUS (Teleprompter of….), but because doing so is recommended by respected commenters of WUWT, I will do my best.
    Do WUWT readers have a recommendation for an ENSO guide as to warm-wet and warm-dry (drought) and cold-wet and cold-dry (drought) — and why? What are the causes of each?. It seems that different parts of countries and/or continents vary according to El Nino and La Nina. For example, California, at least the southern and central part, seems to love drought when La Nina visits — and we have some spectacular ones. I think readers have informed us that different parts of Australia receive quite different wet-and-dry; the same with South America. Perhaps there is some reference work/scientific text that sorts this out?

  24. Once again, we find the conventional, accepted answer to be unsupported by the evidence. Global warming doesn’t cause stronger el Ninos, el Ninos cause global warming!

  25. New Sun-Watching Instrument to Monitor Sunlight Fluctuations
    http://www.physorg.com/news157041575.html
    While total solar irradiance changes by 0.1 percent, the change in the intensity of ultraviolet light varies by much larger amounts, scientists have discovered. Research shows such variations in the Sun’s emissions can affect the ozone layer and the way energy moves both vertically and horizontally through the atmosphere.
    Unfortunately, they just couldn’t stay away from statements like this…
    After examining the historical TSI database, some scientists have suggested that solar irradiance could account for as much as a quarter of recent global warming. But without a continuous and reliable TSI record, Kopp and Lean point out, there will always be room for skeptics to blame global warming entirely on the sun, even when most evidence suggests human activities are the key influence on modern climate changes.

  26. All this shows is that past El Nino events have been as strong as those experienced now. What it doesn’t disprove is global warming being responsible for the increased FREQUENCY of very strong El Nino and La Nina effects.
    I’m still surprised that there are people who don’t believe the Earth’s climate is changing faster than it should by natural variation. Anthopogenic global warming has a mountain of strong evidence. Yes, the planet does have natural cycles and variations in climate but if actions we take increase the frequency of those cycles we are putting more pressure on ourselves and animal life to adapt to those changes in a shorter timescales. The people who will be most affected are those living in areas where natural climate variation is most altered. Like Australia suffering droughts and fires, like the fishing industry in South America, increased hurricane strength, flooding in Europe and India etc. Increased frequency of extreme weather phenomena are a symptom of anthropogenic global warming.

  27. vibenna: You wrote, “Global warming is making El Ninos more severe? Sez who? Can’t variations in the severity of El Ninos be more simply explained by the PDO?”
    You’re assuming that PDO drives ENSO and not vice versa. In “ENSO-Forced Variability of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation”, Newman et al state in the conclusions, “The PDO is dependent upon ENSO on all timescales.” Refer to:
    http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/people/gilbert.p.compo/Newmanetal2003.pdf
    I discussed the similarities between the raw PDO and NINO3.4 SST anomaly data here:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/06/chicken-or-egg-pdo-or-enso.html
    And the Mann et al reconstruction of NINO3 SST anomalies were found to have underlying long-term (~20 to ~40 year) oscillations. Jones et al smoothed the Mann NINO3 data with a 30-year Gaussian-weighted filter to bring out those low-frequency cycles. I posted about it a couple of weeks ago:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/03/low-frequency-enso-oscillations.html
    Note that the smoothed NINO3 SST anomalies were higher in years past.

  28. It never ceases to amaze me how ignorant people are about the logarithmic extinction effects of the ability of CO2 to cause additional warming. It also never ceases to amaze me how people don’t understand system equilibria and how the positive water vapor “feedbacks” upon which all of the apocalyptic AGW predictions depend simply can’t happen. And none of this even touches on changes in albedo caused by increased cloudiness if water vapor increases (which, by the way, is NOT happening–atmospheric water vapor is decreasing).
    Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain….

  29. Sarah wrote:
    I’m still surprised that there are people who don’t believe the Earth’s climate is changing faster than it should by natural variation.
    Earth’s climate is changing faster than than it should by natural variation. Really? What is the maximum (fastest) rate of change that’s within natural variation? Please provide citations to support your claims.
    How about 10 years? The Younger Dryas cooling of about 12,000 years ago “began and ended within a decade and for its 1000 year duration the North Atlantic region was about 5°C colder.”

    Evidence for abrupt climate change is readily apparent in ice cores taken from Greenland and Antarctica. One sees clear indications of long-term changes discussed above, with CO² and proxy temperature changes associated with the last ice age and its transition into our present interglacial period of warmth. But, in addition, there is a strong chaotic variation of properties with a quasi-period of around 1500 years. We say chaotic because these millennial shifts look like anything but regular oscillations. Rather, they look like rapid, decade-long transitions between cold and warm climates followed by long interludes in one of the two states.

    http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=12455&tid=282&cid=10046
    So, natural variation allows a change of 5°C within 10 years. What do the scenarios of the IPCC project? Warming of 0.2°C per decade. Right, that’s “faster than it should by natural variation.” Excuse me while I laugh.

    For those of us living around the edge of the N. Atlantic Ocean, we may be planning for climate scenarios of global warming that are opposite to what might actually occur.

  30. I have just found an peculiar paper about El Nino:
    ABSTRACT
    “The following is a theorical yet exploratory and descriptive study, on which it is sustained that the Sun’s
    additional energy provided from the Earth’s core produces «El Niño» phenomenon trough energetic decompression
    through the weakest zones or Subduction zones of the Pacific Ocean’s, Ring of Fire. That, depends on: The
    Earth’s interior dynamic, plate tectonics, energetic antipodes and the Earth’s rotation.
    The Pacific Ocean, surrounded by the Ring of Fire, both in the East and West, has «Subduction zones» –deep
    failures– where the Earth’s inner energy escapes alternatively; giving place to «El Niño» Phenomenon (on the
    Pacific East) and «La Niña» Phenomenon (on the Pacific West) –or viceversa.
    When the Earth’s inner energy is «explosive», it escapes through both Ring of Fire’s extremes, and also by
    some other failures. Subsequently catastrophic Niño Phenomena occur, according to the amount of gas, ash
    and sulfur eliminated by the Continental or submarine volcanos of the previous mentioned extremes.
    The proposal sustains that the difference of pressions from the Pacific East and West, discovered by Walker
    (1920), occurs due to an alternate decompression on the opposite extremes of the Ring of Fire; the oscillation
    among «El Nino» or «La Nina» phenomena –from extreme hots to the coldest ones (or viceversa)–occur for
    the decompression associated to the energetic antipodes and the Earth’s rotation; likewise, the presence or
    absence of trade winds and oceanic warm and cold currents are explained by the processes aforementioned.
    Keywords: Compression, Decompression, Tectonic, Antipode, Plate, Subduction, Vulcanism.”
    http://sisbib.unmsm.edu.pe/BibVirtualData/publicaciones/geologia/vol8_n16/a02.pdf

  31. Bill Marsh (06:20:57) :
    OT.
    “Just what is going on in the Arctic? It seems we have greater ice extent now, at the end of March, than we did in early February.” Be very aware that whenever this had happened in the past there is a quick “adjustment” to bring it back into line…LOL just be on the watchout for this soon…
    Wish Anthony + Sete MC would write a concerted short concise question ect for Obama making him aware of serious scientific data which shows AGW aint happening…

  32. anna v (20:54:04) said :
    Though our real hope is the deus ex machina of the PDO etc.
    (a) Brilliant. I love hanging with a literate crowd; don’t see many AGWers citing the devices of ancient Greek Theatre.
    (b) Apparently Apollo, who presumably is in charge of manipulating the ropes-and-pulleys which regulate the sun, has been taking a lengthy snooze (at least in human terms; likely just a quick nap in Olympian terms).
    Spotless again, with flux <70. See: http://solarcycle24.com/
    OTOH knowing these Olympians (who behaved in ways uncannily similar to modern politicians-cough-Spitzer-cough-WillieClinton-cough-), Apollo (incidentally, the God of Single Men) may alternately be off chasing skirt.
    Knowing Apollo’s taste for mortal women, and his propensity for mucking things up on Earth, his talent for disguise, and the Olympians delicious sense of irony, the prominent AGWers might want to keep a weather eye open.
    Al, wasn’t that pizza delivery guy unusually tall and handsome?
    He seemed positively radiant.

  33. Adolfo. Very interesting post. Something to throw into the mix. As has been pointed out so often, climate/weather is very complex. Modeling a chaotic event seems unlikely. Frank

  34. Sarah (06:05:50) :

    All this shows is that past El Nino events have been as strong as those experienced now.

    Yes, and had much the same results.

    What it doesn’t disprove is global warming being responsible for the increased FREQUENCY of very strong El Nino and La Nina effects.

    There is no evidence of an increase in the frequency of strong El Nino events.

    I’m still surprised that there are people who don’t believe the Earth’s climate is changing faster than it should by natural variation.

    Oh..Really? What is the natural variation of the earths climate and how fast should it change?

    Anthopogenic global warming has a mountain of strong evidence.

    Show me the mountain.

    Yes, the planet does have natural cycles and variations in climate but if actions we take increase the frequency of those cycles we are putting more pressure on ourselves and animal life to adapt to those changes in a shorter timescales.

    And if we are not having any effect on the climate, then we have been wasting our time and resources on a hoax.

    The people who will be most affected are those living in areas where natural climate variation is most altered.

    Natural climate variation effects all of us. You assume that they have been altered by us.

    Like Australia suffering droughts and fires,

    It has been for as long as man first inhabited that dry and parched land. If you live in Queensland or Tasmania I’m they sure they can arrange a man made catastrophe for you.

    like the fishing industry in South America,

    The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation have known about this effect for many years. There is no evidence that the events are increasing.

    increased hurricane strength

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/12/global-hurricane-activity-has-decreased-to-the-lowest-level-in-30-years/
    Read it and weep.

  35. Based on the HADSST2 data, the 1887/88/89 El Nino (2-year El Nino) peaked at just over 4 deg C, and the 1918/19 El Nino, the basis for the article, topped out at 3.6 deg C, where the 1997/98 El Nino had a maximum NINO3.4 SST anomaly of just over 3 deg C.
    Good for my hypothesis, that the Earth’s irregular motion around the ba…nned-word-ending-with-center is an important ENSO driver. http://virakkraft.com/BC-Perh-SST.ppt

  36. From the same source (google translation):
    “The Meganiños 1925 and 1997-1998 were caused by submarine volcanic sulfur, as from 1993 to 1998 have been activated many undersea volcanoes, whose surface manifestations go unnoticed as the volcano Cerro Azul and Fernandina in the Galápagos (1997-1998), forcing some species of turtles move to safer places, too, Axial Volcano on the islands of Juan de Fuca, at Guagua Pichincha volcano (Ecuador), Popocatepelt (Mexico), White Island volcano (New Zealand) and Nyamuragina ( Congo) went unnoticed.”

  37. Sarah (06:05:50) :
    Increased frequency of extreme weather phenomena are a symptom of anthropogenic global warming.
    This is conjecture, it hasn’t been proven.

  38. Sarah wrote:
    I’m still surprised that there are people who don’t believe the Earth’s climate is changing faster than it should by natural variation.
    I’m surprised there aren’t more. If nothing else, the last 8 years of increasing CO2 with flat or declining world temperature should give anyone pause.
    The notion that somehow climate warming is on hold due to “other unforeseeable factors” but that CO2 will become the dominant driver in the future is absurd.
    If CO2 isn’t the dominant factor now what is and why wouldn’t it be in 30 years? If CO2 is the dominant factor why isn’t global temperature increasing?
    Answer those questions to the satisfaction of those who frequent this blog and you will likely have some converts.

  39. Dear Sarah: About your concern about fishing industries in south america: As you may know we are currently in La Nina, so there is no problem right now in local fishing industry. You will have to wait, it is my guess, until 2017 at least to see el Nino back.

  40. “”” Steven Hill (04:37:08) :
    I am certian now that AGW is about redistribution of wealth and a tax opportunity for Governments and nothing else. It’s good that this site and others are pointing out all of problems that Hansen and Gore cannot continue to ignore.
    keep it going, the truth will win in the end. “””
    Well unfortunately Steven, the politics is being driven by far more money than the science is; and since politics drives the science funding; most research dollars are going into shoring up the failed MMGWCC thesis; rather than doing the basic experiments that might support the real climate control mechanisms.
    You would think, that with all of the satellites that have been put into space for scientific research purposes; that you would be able to google up a map of the EM radiation emission from the earth’s atmosphere, covering say the entire spectral range from about 0.1 micron to about 100 microns wavelength; so we could see what the earth IS actually radiating out into space, and how it varies over the globe and over the seasons or other time scales.
    In stead of trying to compouter model atmospheric emissions; why not just leasure them from a satellite.
    Well if you find this missing map; would you post a link to it here.
    Of course such data would not likely support the current mantra so I doubt that anyone has actually obtained grant dollars to make such measurements.

  41. Pearland Aggie (07:58:19) :
    “Other geo-engineering ideas include sowing sulphur particles in the stratosphere to reflect solar radiation and erecting mirrors in orbit that would deflect sunrays and thus slightly cool the planet.”
    These ideas concern me. We are going to deliberately tinker with the climate? If it doesn’t have immediate effects, will we then try to do more? How cold are we trying to make it? What is the plan if this backfires? This is pure madness. If we cause climate to abruptly shift colder, unnaturally, what are the consequences? There is a certain danger to this that I don;t think that the ‘geo-engineers’ are taking into account.

  42. Ohioholic (10:14:36) :
    Oh, I think the consequences of abrupt worldwide cooling are much more severe than modest global warming. We have technologies to adapt to warmer climates, but it is much more difficult to cope with the cold.
    I, too, worry about these ideas, especially when they are based on, to be charitable, unsettled science.

  43. http://www.whitehouse.gov/
    The White House is inviting you to post your questions on the economy and vote on submissions from others. The President will answer some of the most popular in an online town hall on Thursday.
    Note to US people: Not much time left to send in questions

  44. We can file the following observation under the heading “Unintended Consquences of Weather/Climate Tinkering.” I lived for five years in Japan and was frequently surprised at the energy and enthusiasm that Japanese scientists would bring to projects they were involved in. Fukuoka University was nearby where I was living and they received a grant from the Japanese government to conduct some tests to determine critical slope angles, rainfall density, soil mechanics and such things associated with mud slides.
    In a fit of enthusiasm they set out to build a fully instrumented test range where they could create carefully studied mini-mudslides. This involved lots of tiltmeters, remotely controlled highspeed cameras, microseismographs, and a big-ass pump (technical term) for pumping water from a lake uphill to soak pre-selected slopes so they could control for simulated rainfall. Well to compress the story somewhat, using the best modeling tools available at the time they carefully calculated the slope angle/soil weight/estimated liquification factor/rainfall rate and other details and proceeded to create an artificial mudslide. They anticipated it would take four days of pumping to get it wet enough to slide.
    Unfortunately, the parameters and rules loaded into the computer model must have been slightly unsuitable because about 58% through the calculated pumping program the ground began slipping and rapidly became a full-blown mudslide. In the ensuing event four scientists died and most of their equipment was destroyed. On the slightly positive side the high speed cameras and tiltmeters worked perfectly and provided highly interesting video of the entire event complete with fully documented data readings.
    Sigh.

  45. ‘There is no evidence of an increase in the frequency of strong El Nino events.’
    Of the last 6 strongest El Nino events, the three strongest are the most recent ones.
    http://www.srh.noaa.gov/lch/research/bptlch.php
    About the hurricanes
    http://www.weather.com/newscenter/tropical/
    ‘You would think, that with all of the satellites that have been put into space for scientific research purposes; that you would be able to google up a map of the EM radiation emission from the earth’s atmosphere, covering say the entire spectral range from about 0.1 micron to about 100 microns wavelength; so we could see what the earth IS actually radiating out into space, and how it varies over the globe and over the seasons or other time scales.’
    You would think the funding would be available for this too. It takes years to develop and put a satellite into orbit and the last one crashed due to a faulty delivery system.
    ‘Just what is going on in the Arctic? It seems we have greater ice extent now, at the end of March, than we did in early February.’
    Ice extent and ice area are two different things. Broken ice spread out with water in between is still measured as extent. Ice area is the actual area of ice without the water – like the difference between swiss cheese and a solid lump.
    Arctic ice is becoming thinner and with each season more salty as the all of the salt isn’t expelled before the melting starts all over again. Therefore it breaks up more easily and takes longer to form the following year.
    ‘About your concern about fishing industries in south america: As you may know we are currently in La Nina, so there is no problem right now in local fishing industry. You will have to wait, it is my guess, until 2017 at least to see el Nino back.’
    Yes I am aware. While the fishing is currently good in S. America, Australia has experienced the worst drought and fires on record.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7877178.stm
    ‘How about 10 years? The Younger Dryas cooling of about 12,000 years ago “began and ended within a decade and for its 1000 year duration the North Atlantic region was about 5°C colder.”’
    Excellent case study! Yes these events do occur in nature and this one in particular was triggered by massive in puts of fresh water into the North Atlantic, some argue an El Nino event also assisted.
    Right now the Artic ice sheet is being melted from above and below from changes warm water currents in the pacific. This is increasing the amount of freshwater being dumped into the north Altantic leading to colder wetter conditions here. Great for snowboarding in the Alps, but some serious hard ship for all those people who got flooded last summer.
    If predictions are correct and all ice melts in 2013 then it is possible we could see a similar return of the cooling experienced during the Younger Dryas. Hopefully it won’t happen on quite the same extent as there are significantly more people likely to be affected in Europe than back then.
    ‘Show me the mountain.’
    We showed it to the IPCC, weren’t you there?
    ‘I’m surprised there aren’t more. If nothing else, the last 8 years of increasing CO2 with flat or declining world temperature should give anyone pause.’
    Look at a longer term record. This helps to cancel out the interdecadal noise caused by short term climate alterations.
    ‘These ideas concern me. We are going to deliberately tinker with the climate?’
    Yes it concerns me too. As there is no model that can fully predict climate change in any direction the prudent course of action is to limit anthropogenic interference.
    ‘This is conjecture, it hasn’t been proven.’
    It’s a theory actually, like black holes and evolution. None have been proven but all have significant evidence.
    ‘Read it and weep.’
    If you can’t debate politely then don’t debate at all.

  46. Bob – very interesting thanks. If I read you right you are saying that PDO lags ENSO by a few months, and is highly correlated.
    But that doesn’t necessarily mean that ENSO causes PDO. Much more likely that they are both manifestations of the same underlying phenomena. Or do you propose that PDO is the manifestation of ENSO feedback effects?

  47. ‘file this under “unintended consequences”….LOL’
    Heck, even I’ll admit the science behind this was iffy. Every oceanographer worth their salt knows what eats phytoplankton. Perhaps they should have studied an upwelling zone first…

  48. Sarah:
    It is perfectly OK, with la Nina around. Weather changes all the time, but not because the air is hot with CO2. You already know, those glasses (CO2 molecules, 0.0385% of the air) of your dynamic greenhouse, just go up to release their heat and then come back (because of its molecular weight)…and please remember, air volumetric heat capacity is 3227 times less than air.

  49. Bob Tisdale (03:28:53)
    The adjusted Hadley Centre NINO3.4 SST anomaly data you provided here
    http://s5.tinypic.com/2con29d.jpg
    still has the 1878 event larger than any of the others. It has about the same peak as 1998 but a longer time span (wider base, although not above 0.5). It has three follow-on peaks with each higher than the former. This seems to be somewhat similar to the sloshing back-and-forth you have written about. It continues to show up as a major event on the other charts you provide. The eruption of Karkatau, (Aug., 26, 1883, a VEI 6) shows up on your figure:
    http://i41.tinypic.com/2yz0nec.jpg
    So the question is: Would the eruption of Karakatau have decreased the peaks that follow 1878? Then by 1887 we have another high NINO3.4 SST anomaly. It seems that without Karkatau intervening the period between 1876 through 1890 might have been even more exceptional. See my initial note at (21:11:41), this post.

  50. “It’s a theory actually, like black holes and evolution. None have been proven but all have significant evidence.”
    Where is the theory?
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080812160615.htm
    “Yes it concerns me too. As there is no model that can fully predict climate change in any direction the prudent course of action is to limit anthropogenic interference.”
    Why? The only way to eradicate your impact is to die, yet even then your body will still emit CO2. CO2 is also very nutritious for plants. Also, I can tell you are concerned about warming. Why is warming bad?
    “The warming resumed by 8500 BC. By 5000 to 3000 BC average global temperatures reached their maximum level during the Holocene and were 1 to 2 degrees Celsius warmer than they are today.” From: http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/7x.html
    This roughly corresponds with the development of humanity’s first protostates (not to be confused with prostate :P). So why is warmer bad?

  51. Sarah, you wrote, “What it doesn’t disprove is global warming being responsible for the increased FREQUENCY of very strong El Nino and La Nina effects.”
    From the 1970s through the 1998, the number of large El Nino events was greater than during the period of 1945 through 1970. A few things to consider, though. The El Chichon and Mount Pinatubo eruptions occurred at the same time as the 1982/83 and the 1991/92 El Nino events. Since nature uses El Nino events to redistribute excess heat from the tropics to higher latitudes, those two El Nino events were, in effect, suppressed by the volcanoes. In other words, those El Nino events of 1982/83 and 1991/92 did not serve their natural function. They were non-Ninos. But the tropics still needed to unload the heat. To accommodate that, there were a few more El Nino events during that period to help distribute that extra heat toward the poles, where it can be radiated into space more efficiently.
    Second thing to consider: As I agreed above, we’ve recently been through a period where the frequency and magnitude of El Nino events was greater than they were for the prior few decades. During that recent period, the frequency of El Nino events also exceeded the frequency and magnitude of La Nina events. But that’s only 50-60 years of comparison. What about longer terms?
    There is an underlying, natural, low-frequency variability in ENSO data. Researchers (Jones et al) used a special filter (30-year Gaussian weighted filter) to extract those low-frequency cycles from the Mann et al NINO3 reconstruction data that covered the period of 1650 to 1980. The following graph shows the Mann NINO3 data in red.
    http://s5.tinypic.com/20b26p0.jpg
    Note how the recent spell would be lower in frequency and magnitude than in earlier centuries. There are links to all the datasets and the studies in my post here:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/03/low-frequency-enso-oscillations.html
    And let me end with…you wrote, “What it doesn’t disprove is global warming being responsible for the increased FREQUENCY of very strong El Nino and La Nina effects.”
    Your statement is backwards. The higher frequency and magnitude of El Nino events led to global warming. Global temperatures lag ENSO events, so how could your statement be correct?

  52. lgl (13:04:15) & George & Sarah
    That is an interesting and visual site. I haven’t tried many of the options yet. If you haven’t tried the Google Earth presentation –DO! Google provides the land outlines.
    Nice reference – THANKS! John

  53. Bob Tisdale: “those El Nino events of 1982/83 and 1991/92 did not serve their natural function”
    You tell me!, that 1983 el Nino was really big…to the extent that peruvian economy went default. 1991/92 its ok.

  54. Adolfo Giurfa (13:12:01) Typos, as in plural
    Those CO2 things are “gases”, not glasses, but, hey, whose counting?

  55. Sarah, It is right to be cautious. If you step over the line and become a skeptic: Your friends and family will think you have gone batty. Your local Starbucks will only serve you cold coffee. Members of the PTA will warn the school kids about you.
    But, to not make a choice is still a choice.
    I suggest you spend a little time reading the “how not to measure temperature” posts – parts 84 & 85 are still listed at the top-right. Or go here: http://surfacestations.org/
    Also read some papers – here are three:
    Two Natural Components of the Recent Climate Change by Akasofu, here:
    http://people.iarc.uaf.edu/~sakasofu/pdf/two_natural_components_recent_climate_change.pdf
    http://www.climateaudit.org/pdf/ohio.pdf by Steve McIntyre
    http://www.davidarchibald.info/papers/The%20Past%20and%20Future%20of%20Climate.pdf
    Cheers, John

  56. If a computer model produces a result that conflicts with what was previously thought about the strength of the 1918 El Nino, why should we conclude that the previous information was wrong? Isn’t a conclusion that the computer model might be flawed at least as valid?

  57. ‘Your statement is backwards. The higher frequency and magnitude of El Nino events led to global warming. Global temperatures lag ENSO events, so how could your statement be correct?’
    The artical doesn’t state this, you do. Therefore my statement is correct; The article doesn’t disprove that global warming affects the frequency of high magnitude El Nino events.
    I’m not saying it prooves it either, just that it doesn’t disprove it which is what the artical is leaning towards. It only proves that strong events also happened in the past.
    ‘In other words, those El Nino events of 1982/83 and 1991/92 did not serve their natural function. They were non-Ninos. But the tropics still needed to unload the heat. To accommodate that, there were a few more El Nino events during that period to help distribute that extra heat toward the poles, where it can be radiated into space more efficiently.’
    Given that ash from volcanic eruptions reflects heat back into space as well as insulating Earth it would be difficult to proove what the net effect was without satellite data. If there is proof you’re aware of please post a link.
    ‘Note how the recent spell would be lower in frequency and magnitude than in earlier centuries. There are links to all the datasets and the studies in my post here:’
    Those graphs are interesting: From 1800 and thestart of the industrial revolution the El Nino peaks get bigger and last longer. From 1900 there is a significant departure to previous patterns of El Nino events. Lots of smaller peaks gradually increasing in strength over time rather than a clear regular pulse.
    If you’re right in saying that El Ninos are triggered by a natural feedback which removes excess heat, then it does link quite nicely to the recent global warming patterns. With this data you would expect to see progressively stronger El Nino events as the natural feedback mechanisms try to cool the Earth. This transfers heat to the poles which then melt more frequently and severely as each successive years ice pack is weaker than the last. You would then expect La Nina events to be stronger and the NAO to be more pronounced leading to cooler and wetter Northern Europe climates. Isn’t that what we have been seeing?
    However, no one has really prooved the mechanisms that cause El Ninos to begin.

  58. From the work I do on water flows in Eastern Australia, I would have thought that while the drought in 1918 is worth looking at, it is the drought sequence of 1936-1945 that most closely matches the current 10 year drought sequence in Australia (which appears to be ending now). This drought was very severe, both in terms of lack of rainfall and duration, and occurred just before the modern “CO2 era”. Before that was the 1890’s drought. The timing of the 1890’s, 1936-1945, and 1996-2007/8 droughts appear to aliigh with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and certainly appear to represent a pattern. Shorter (although still severe) droughts such as 1918 and 1983 fall in-between, and appear to align with Inter-Decadal Oscillation swings. Again, the pattern is quite regular.
    Its funny, for the better part of 200 years, alternating drough and flood sequences have benn considered to be part of natural cycle (with the odd “good” year occuring from time to time!), until very recently. Now its all Man-Made Global Warming. Same weather patterns though……

  59. vibenna: Your asked, “Or do you propose that PDO is the manifestation of ENSO feedback effects?”
    Keep in mind that NINO3.4 SST anomaly data is just that, SST anomalies for the NINO3.4 region. But the PDO is a statistically manuafactured dataset. Refer my discussion here that explains how they calculate it:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/06/common-misunderstanding-about-pdo.html
    The PDO is not a simple residual like the AMO. Refer to:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/06/amo-versus-mid-latitude-north-pacific.html

  60. lgl & Sarah: Please create a time-series graph outgoing longwave radiation ANOMALIES. Your link is pretty, but it shows nothing of value to your cause.

  61. Bob Tisdale,
    What is your best guess as the mechanism that ultimately drives the ENSO/PDO cycles? If these cycles serve to redistrubute heat, then certainly something must be generating or at least concentrating energy in localized areas, no?

  62. ‘Why? The only way to eradicate your impact is to die, yet even then your body will still emit CO2. CO2 is also very nutritious for plants. Also, I can tell you are concerned about warming. Why is warming bad?’
    I didn’t say eradicate – I said limit. As in lets not go pumping tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere until we can be absolutely certain we won’t alter the climate.
    Not all warming is bad, we wouldn’t be here if the Earth was still stuck in an ice age. However I don’t think anyone wants to have a hot house climate return. The break up and rapid moving of the Earth’s tectonic plates when Pangea broke up caused a lot of warming and release of CO2 into the atmosphere which was then captured and burried by plants giving us the ice house climates with glacials and interglacials. Then humans come along, dig up all those fossil fuels and pump that CO2 back into the atmosphere. No one fully knows what that will do to the global climate system, and for that very reason it isn’t smart to continue doing so with reckless abandon.
    ‘Where is the theory? ‘
    I was refering to global warming as a whole, not hurricanes per ce. Incidently those guys proved that if hurricanes do form they’ll be extra big and powerful. One of the predictions of global warming is increased severity of weather phenomena. This supports the theory.
    ‘“The warming resumed by 8500 BC. By 5000 to 3000 BC average global temperatures reached their maximum level during the Holocene and were 1 to 2 degrees Celsius warmer than they are today.” From: ‘
    Yes, and I’m sure the ancient Egyptians loved it, very fertile growing land for them. However, what was the weather like in Northern Europe at the time – or anywhere else for that matter?
    This evidence shows that warmer climates lead to wild fires which were widespread at the end of the Younger Dryas. Bearing in mind that a lot more people now occupy areas where these fires were burning and you’ve got yourself a modern day problem.
    http://pmr.uoregon.edu/science-and-innovation/uo-research-news/research-news-2009/january/charcoal-evidence-tracks-climate-changes-in-younger-dryas/
    The issue isn’t whether or not the Earth will survive what we’re doing, I’m sure the Earth will just regulate itself as it always has. The question is if we as a human race will survive the changes.

  63. ‘From the work I do on water flows in Eastern Australia, I would have thought that while the drought in 1918 is worth looking at, it is the drought sequence of 1936-1945 that most closely matches the current 10 year drought sequence in Australia (which appears to be ending now). This drought was very severe, both in terms of lack of rainfall and duration, and occurred just before the modern “CO2 era”.’
    The industrial revolution started long before this. Just because the patterns of CO2 in the atmosphere were not seen until the 60’s doesn’t mean they weren’t there or that this is a modern problem. They were there, but no one had thought to look.
    Coal fires had been burning for years before 1900.

  64. “The issue isn’t whether or not the Earth will survive what we’re doing, I’m sure the Earth will just regulate itself as it always has. The question is if we as a human race will survive the changes.”
    The answer is no. At some point in time, we will die off.

  65. I like the 1877-78 El Nino event in that it was the biggest on record and you can definitely see its signal in global temperatures.
    The spring of 1878 was probably the warmest temperatures recorded (taking into account how much they have played around with the historic temperature record).
    The Feb, 1878 Hadcrut3 temperature at +0.364C is actually higher than Feb. 2009 temp anomaly at +0.345C.
    130 years of global warming and one big El Nino combined with a mild La Nina can make it look like there is no temperature increase at all.
    Nothing special happened in 1918, however, except for the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The 1915 AMO spike and the 1915 Battle of the Ypres where mustard gas was used for the first time had much bigger impacts.

  66. ‘Please create a time-series graph outgoing longwave radiation ANOMALIES. Your link is pretty, but it shows nothing of value to your cause.’
    Pass me £30000 and I’ll be happy to do it as a PhD thesis. Cash only, no cheques or credit cards.
    There is some interesting work by NOAA and the Japanese using their satellites to track ocean-atmospheric fluxes.
    http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/science/time-series-data.html
    Also this http://folk.uib.no/ngftf/CV/Misc/regclim_gtr3ft.html

  67. Moderator – is my other post offensive somehow, or just too blunt?
    REPLY: Neither, It’s called “I’m doing something else (like running my business) at the moment and I have just now returned to moderating”. Patience, read the site policy in the tab at masthead. – Anthony

  68. John F. Hultquist : GLASSES .
    Imagine we build Sarah´s ideal Greenhouse, an antique greenhouse to be covered by 10.000 individual glasses which would represent a % of CO2 gas. Then she would have only 3.85 glasses for her ideal greenhouse, but not only that, these, as they are made not of crystal but of CO2, really are “flying glasses”.
    How could these keep such a greenhouse warm?

  69. Sarah: You wrote: “However, no one has really prooved the mechanisms that cause El Ninos to begin.”
    That’s not really the point, is it? The question at hand is what fuels it. Do you really think a 1 watt/meter^2 increase in the AGGI from 1979 to 2007 could create all that tropical heat, when in a single year (1997/98) the downward shortwave radiation varied (increased then decreased) ~25 watts/meter^2 over the Pacific Warm Pool due to a shift in cloud cover. It’s a matter of scale. Refer to Table 2 here for AGGI data:
    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/aggi/
    Refer to Figure 8 here for a graph of the DSR-A over the PWP:
    http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/8/6697/2008/acpd-8-6697-2008-print.pdf
    I discussed the Pavlakis paper here:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/02/recharging-pacific-warm-pool-part-2.html
    You wrote, “Given that ash from volcanic eruptions reflects heat back into space as well as insulating Earth it would be difficult to proove what the net effect was without satellite data. If there is proof you’re aware of please post a link.”
    All you have to do is examine the effects by plotting sea surface temperature anomalies for the East Indian and West Pacific oceans versus NINO3.4 and Sato Index data. It’s very obvious in the data, once you know it’s there. Feel free to refer to my guest posts here at WUWT or to the originals here:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/01/can-el-nino-events-explain-all-of.html
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/01/can-el-nino-events-explain-all-of_11.html
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/01/supplement-to-can-enso-events-explain.html
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/01/supplement-2-to-can-enso-events-explain.html
    Feel free to plot the data yourself to check my work.
    You wrote: “You would then expect La Nina events to be stronger and the NAO to be more pronounced leading to cooler and wetter Northern Europe climates.”
    Are you discussing the La Nina of 2007/08 and the current La Nina conditions and how they relate to Northern European weather? If so, I don’t pay much attention to weather .
    You wrote: “If you’re right in saying that El Ninos are triggered by a natural feedback which removes excess heat, then it does link quite nicely to the recent global warming patterns.”
    Bingo. But you don’t have to take my word for it. On David Enfield’s El Nino FAQ webpage, he writes, “El Nino may be thought of as one of Earth’s standard mechanisms for getting heat from the tropics (where more comes in from the sun than goes out) to the polar regions (where more heat returns to space than comes in). Ordinary winter storms also do this. Without these poleward transports of heat, the planet would be an unbearable hothouse in the tropics or too cold for habitation toward the poles. In the years between ENSO events, excess heat accumulates in the tropics and then gets ‘exported’ during El Nino.”
    http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/general/enso_faq/
    Regards

  70. FEEBLE El NIÑO : 1927, 1943, 1948, 1953, 1958, 1969, 2002-2003.
    MODERATE El NIÑO : 1929,1951, 1965, 1976, 1987, 1991-1992.
    STRONG NINO: 1925-1926, 1930-1931, 1940-1941, 1957-1958, 1972-1973.
    EXTRAORDINARY NINO: 1982-1983, 1997-1998.

  71. John F. Hultquist: You asked, “Would the eruption of Karakatau have decreased the peaks that follow 1878?”
    I haven’t studied the period close enough to give you a reasonable answer. The data is sparse, especially NINO data, back then.

  72. REPLY: Neither, It’s called “I’m doing something else (like running my business) at the moment and I have just now returned to moderating”. Patience, read the site policy in the tab at masthead. – Anthony
    Aye Corumba! Sorry, there were new posts bracketing that one, so I thought I had stepped out of bounds. I assumed and have again proven the old axiom dealing with assumptions. Run that business round and round, just don’t run it into the ground!

  73. JamesG (15:44:19) : about the chap (Ken Ring) you pointed to
    Samuel Johnson is quoted as having replied to an author:
    “Your manuscript is both good and original; but the parts that are good are not original, and the parts that are original are not good.”
    That seems to fit.

  74. “Sarah (06:05:50) :
    Increased frequency of extreme weather phenomena are a symptom of anthropogenic global warming.
    This is conjecture, it hasn’t been proven.”
    “It’s a theory actually, like black holes and evolution. None have been proven but all have significant evidence.”
    I’m going to assume that Sara simply means that increased frequency of extreme weather events are a symptom of warming in general, whether anthropogenic or not. The statement otherwise doesn’t make a lot of sense as there would be no reason to think that warming from CO2 causes the climate to behave differently than if the warming had been natural.
    My real beef with this argument is that it ignores the quality of the tests that are applied to try to falsify the hypothesis. The whole premise behind the scientific inquiry is that a theory gains strength as attempts to falsify that theory fail over time. The problem with comparing global warming theory to evolution and black holes is that, with global warming, the best you can do to try to test the theory is prod weakly around the edges. There is no measurement instrument capable of distinguishing natural warming from man-made warming. Scientists can’t vary the rate of CO2 going into the atmosphere to gather statistical data for quantifying the effect of CO2. Even more fundamentally, since any ongoing changes in climate variables such as temperature, humidity, etc can only be distinguished from the chaotic noise of the climate system by averaging over large time intervals, how is it possible to gain any significant understanding about the inner workings of the climate in such a short time interval as a mere three or four decades? Stated simply, we simply have not had the ability to meaningfully test the global warming hypothesis (e.g. quantify the effect in a mathematical manner) in the relatively short time that scientists have been studying the climate. Since changes in the behavior of the system being studied take decades to scientifically distinguish, it’s silly to think that you can learn enough about that extraordinarily complex system, in a mere two to three measurement cycles, to be able to quantify the effect of CO2 on temperature let alone second level considerations such as temperature on hurricanes, drought, El Nino, etc.

  75. Pearland Aggie: You asked, “What is your best guess as the mechanism that ultimately drives the ENSO/PDO cycles? If these cycles serve to redistrubute heat, then certainly something must be generating or at least concentrating energy in localized areas, no?”
    Let me give you a link to Bill Kessler’s webpage. He discusses the process very well. What he misses, though, are the changes in cloud cover, which increase downward shortwave radiation and also fuel El Nino events.
    http://faculty.washington.edu/kessler/occasionally-asked-questions.html
    Do you ever get to the west side of Houston? Out by Dairy-Ashford and Briarforest? I lived on that side of town on and off for about ten years.

  76. ‘ It is right to be cautious. If you step over the line and become a skeptic: Your friends and family will think you have gone batty. Your local Starbucks will only serve you cold coffee. Members of the PTA will warn the school kids about you.
    But, to not make a choice is still a choice.’
    I have made a choice, and defended it. In fact I used to be a skeptic as a young geologist student, but quickly changed my mind with further study.
    I used to think that global warming was a great way to avoid ice age reoccurance. Needless to say I’ve changed my stance!
    Your articles on how not to measure temperature seem to focus on accurately measuring temperature while ignoring long term trends that all techniques demonstrated in the data patterns. It’s ok being imprecise as long as you’re consistently so and can correct measurements with other proxies.
    I have to admit I’m a fan of ice core temperature plots myself since the poles are far more stable to measure long term trends and the data set goes back a long way to compare with other proxies. Anoxic marine sediment come second but only because it involves long arduous hours of analysis with a scanning electron microscope. *Boring*
    ‘Also, where is all the severe weather?’
    Of all of the early predictions made with global warming back in the 1960’s we have seen evidence slowly mounting for all of it. Increased size of deserts, severe storms, flooding in some areas, doughts and wild fires in others as global precipitation redistributes. There is a direct link with increased global precipitation and global warming.
    http://maps.grida.no/go/graphic/trends-in-natural-disasters
    Short term storm events are harder to prove because of the complex nature of the storm system. This is why the Met office refuses to comment until more in depth work has been done. In particular the media was jumping all over the flooding stories in the U.K claiming it was due to global warming, having no direct scientific link the Met office released that statement. However, they didn’t say that the the extreme weather experienced in the U.K over the last 30 years wasn’t to do with global warming, and they do consider it to be a research priority.
    BTW here’s what else Vicky Pope has to say about global warming – notice how she talks about flooding and heatwaves?
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/science/explained/explained1.html
    It comes back again about how WE deal with a changing climate. Homes a businesses were flooded 2 years ago because more rain fell that the drainage system was designed to cope with. Drainage systems in the U.K can deal with a 1:30 year event with no problem and are designed to flood with an event of greater magnitude. The problem is that the so called 1:30 year or greater events are happening a lot more frequently.

  77. Adolfo Giurfa: You wrote, “You tell me!, that 1983 el Nino was really big…to the extent that peruvian economy went default. 1991/92 its ok.”
    The 1982/83 El Nino was big and the localized weather effects in western South America should have been extreme, but my comment had to do with the poleward heat transport.

  78. sarah answers the question:
    ‘Also, where is all the severe weather?’
    by stating:
    “Of all of the early predictions made with global warming back in the 1960’s we have seen evidence slowly mounting for all of it….”
    Sarah, that’s wrong, as we see here: click
    Anecdotal reports of severe weather are meaningless alarmism.

  79. Sarah,
    It is right to be cautious. If you step over the line and become a skeptic: Your friends and family will think you have gone batty. Your local Starbucks will only serve you cold coffee. Members of the PTA will warn the school kids about you.
    But, facts won’t go away and to not make a choice is still a choice.
    I suggest you spend a little time reading the “how not to measure temperature” posts – parts 84 & 85 are still listed at the top-right. Or go here: http://surfacestations.org/
    Also read some papers – here are three:
    Two Natural Components of the Recent Climate Change by Akasofu, here:
    http://people.iarc.uaf.edu/~sakasofu/pdf/two_natural_components_recent_climate_change.pdf
    http://www.climateaudit.org/pdf/ohio.pdf by Steve McIntyre
    http://www.davidarchibald.info/papers/The%20Past%20and%20Future%20of%20Climate.pdf
    You seem to be repeating a lot of stuff from Al Gore. He showed a picture of two polar bears on an ice berg. There were four relevant facts. Were the animals about to die? Where was the picture taken? When was the picture taken? Who took the picture? Gore got all four answers wrong. Oh, he also had the sex of the photographer wrong. That’s five. He doesn’t get anything else right either:
    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/press_releases/monckton-response-to-gore-errors.pdf
    You also might want to have a look at the “even if” statements at the end of this paper:
    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/warming_not_happening.pdf
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    JamesG (15:44:19) : about the chap (Ken Ring) you pointed to
    Samuel Johnson is quoted as having replied to an author:
    “Your manuscript is both good and original; but the parts that are good are not original, and the parts that are original are not good.”
    That seems to fit.

  80. Sorry Anthony, I didn’t realize that thing to Sarah go thru.. Snip it.
    the one to JamesG is new

  81. Well the bottom half of the stuff to Sarah was new. I think I’ll sign off and go read about logs to the base e — that and supper.

  82. “Of all of the early predictions made with global warming back in the 1960’s we have seen evidence slowly mounting for all of it. Increased size of deserts, severe storms, flooding in some areas, doughts and wild fires in others as global precipitation redistributes. There is a direct link with increased global precipitation and global warming.”
    Of course, one unusually cold winter and we are up snow creek without a shovel. Increased precipitation means more snow. More snow means more reflected solar energy. More reflected solar energy means brrrrr.
    And if you look at Pagani’s graph displaying change in temps, CO2, and continental flooding, you will see that dryer times have been the norm for quite a while. Long before we started burning fossil fuels.
    It is a nice thought that we can freeze the climate where it is, but not realistic.
    It gets old seeing “Reports of 50 new species found in New Guinea, Hansen claims models predicted this.” day in and day out. You wish to defend it, fine, but can you tell me what fallacies exist in the modeled scenarios?

  83. I previously posted a rather simple clue to the Nino phenomenon in that it is driven by the Trade Winds (which flow East to West at the equator).
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/02/17/the-trade-winds-drive-the-enso/
    I didn’t have a good answer to what drives these Trade Winds. Differences in atmospheric pressure have been proposed to be the cause but I found the pressure differentials even through the Southern Oscillation Index lags a little behind the Nino anomalies meaning they are not the driver.
    I’m still working through this but I think it really comes to the Atmospheric Angular Momentum. The rotation of the earth literally speeds up during but mostly after El Nino events (a few tenths of a thousandth of a second.)
    Atmospheric Winds create a drag on the rotation of the Earth. But the Earth’s rotation also creates a feedback causing the atmospheric winds to slow down or speed up when there is an imbalance.
    The Trade Winds are also a balance to the higher latitude winds (which flow West to East). The law of conservation of Angular Momentum means that the East-to-West Trade Winds must pick up when the higher latitude West-to-East winds pick up. During an El Nino, the Trades Winds slow down as higher latitude winds slow down to balance off any imbalances they may have created in the Angular Momentum.
    The sloshing of higher temperature ocean water from the West Pacific Warm Pool into the Nino region and even Kelvin Waves might just be the oceans participating in the Conservation of Angular Momentum.
    The rotation of the whole Earth will overwhelm any atmospheric drag effects in the short term forcing the atmosphere to respond. This is in spite of the fact that the Earth’s rotation is slowly slowing down in part due to the atmospheric drag and ocean tide effects modulated by the Moon. The Moon use to be closer and the tides used to be greater and the day used to be shorter and I imagine the Nino use to have bigger variation.
    In the short-term, the winds ebb and flow but the 24 hour Earth day keeps them in some kind of balance. I need monthly data of Atmospheric Angular Momentum to show this better.
    In the meantime, this fascinating animation of clouds over a full year might show what I’m saying a little better.
    https://www.ucar.edu/publications/nsf_review/animations/ccm3.512×256.mpg

  84. Bob, you wrote
    ‘The higher frequency and magnitude of El Nino events led to global warming.’
    I agree with you that ENSO events are natural and transport heat to the poles – I didn’t disagree with you there. My argument was that El Ninos are not the cause of global warming, but are more prevalent because of it.
    Something that this artical was trying to disprove by stating that in the past there has been equally large El Nino events so modern warming trends have no effect on their magnitude.
    It makes sense that feedback mechanisms designed to cool the planet would operate with more frequency/severity if the global system is warmer.
    Your data is really interesting but the record doesn’t extend back very far while links between atmospheric CO2 and global temperatures are in the geological record over millenia. I’m not saying CO2 is total definitive cause of all the warming mechanisms we see, but more CO2 in the atmosphere does inhibit the ocean loosing heat to space. The data clearly shows a match between the rate of warming and the rate of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere.
    ‘Global temperatures lag ENSO events’
    Looking at your data it appears that global temperature peaks trigger sustained El Nino reoccurances and has done so more since 1900. Both global temperatures and SST peak at the same time, then Global temperatures drop while El Nino SST anomalies continue for a while afterward. Then stop when global temperatures hit a low point. The moment they stop, global temperature is able to increase again. Notice how both temperature curves have increased at the same rate since 1900? No matter how strong these events become there is still heat in the system. It cannot escape out into space quickly enough.
    Assuming this pattern continues and eventually we see a the complete melt of Arctic ice, the resulting freshwater would prevent effective thermohaline circulation in the North Atlantic. If this occurs then we would see increased snowfall over Europe reflecting more heat back into space than is possible at the poles even when covered in ice. I actually doubt all the ice would leave the poles though, it would likely redistribute as some papers have shown.
    ‘Are you discussing the La Nina of 2007/08 and the current La Nina conditions and how they relate to Northern European weather? If so, I don’t pay much attention to weather ‘
    Yes. I’m talking about ocean currents transporting heat around the globe which in turn affect how much moisture the atmosphere carries. This leads to alterations in more localised weather systems. You can’t really choose to ignore it. Heat transfer in water and the atmosphere are both important to the global heat budget.

  85. “Of all of the early predictions made with global warming back in the 1960’s we have seen evidence slowly mounting for all of it. Increased size of deserts, severe storms, flooding in some areas, doughts and wild fires in others as global precipitation redistributes. There is a direct link with increased global precipitation and global warming.”
    I hope you are not refereing to Katrina 2005 (And the predictions by fearmongers that storms would become more severe each year afterwards) and the Australian fires this year because if you are your statement is complete rubbish.

  86. ‘You seem to be repeating a lot of stuff from Al Gore’
    Actually, Al Gore has been repeating a lot of stuff from the scientific community at large. Back when I was studying this stuff at Uni I didn’t know who the heck Al Gore was, besides being the bloke that lost to George Bush.
    Besides, how does Al Gore getting facts about a photo incorrect relate to the global warming debate? That’s like saying you couldn’t post one comment properly so therefore all your comments are wrong. A bit silly, no?
    ‘Of course, one unusually cold winter and we are up snow creek without a shovel. Increased precipitation means more snow. More snow means more reflected solar energy. More reflected solar energy means brrrrr. ‘
    Basic geography lesson on how the Earth deals with heat, white reflects dark absorbs.
    Increased precipitation does not necessarily mean more snow, it can mean rain too. Warm oceans evaporate and put moiture into the atmosphere – where and how it falls is anyones guess. Or a modellers work.
    ‘And if you look at Pagani’s graph displaying change in temps, CO2, and continental flooding, you will see that dryer times have been the norm for quite a while. Long before we started burning fossil fuels. ‘
    Pagani’s work supports CO2 being a climate forcing mechanism – Where are you going with this?

  87. ‘I hope you are not refereing to Katrina 2005 (And the predictions by fearmongers that storms would become more severe each year afterwards) and the Australian fires this year because if you are your statement is complete rubbish.’
    Nope, I’m not.

  88. In his book about the onset of the LIA, Prof. William Chester Jordan has extracted from contemporary accounts the following scenario. The summer of 1314, Great Britain had a wet and cold summer which crashed agricultural output. The summer of 1315, Western Europe and G.B. had very cold and wet summers. This pattern continued till 1322 when the growing season improved somewhat. Halfway through the 7 yrs. the livestock started dying from the constant wet and cold. The title of the book is ‘The Great Famine’. If his research is accurate, the climate went from MWP to LIA in 2 yrs. The last two summers in G.B. have been wet and cold. Time will tell.

  89. “Basic geography lesson on how the Earth deals with heat, white reflects dark absorbs.
    Increased precipitation does not necessarily mean more snow, it can mean rain too. Warm oceans evaporate and put moisture into the atmosphere – where and how it falls is anyone’s guess. Or a modelers work.”
    Didn’t mean to come across as condescending. Where and how it falls is anyone’s guess. Modelers model what happens in a given scenario. They are largely wrong, but sometimes right. Of course, sometimes they can appear correct until reality yanks the rug out from under them (see Wall Street and the junk bond magic show, admission varies as an exponential function of income). Could be rain, could be snow. Could be land, could be ocean. Of course, natural climate variability is evident here.
    Just off hand, why is flooding on a constant downward trend? How exactly do we blame that on CO2?

  90. The changes in solar irradiance (TSI) are said to be around 0.01% over the course of a complete solar cycle, and UV variance is greater.
    Temperatures recorded over historic time (what, a few hundred years) have been in whole degrees Farenheit, now converted to Celsius in hundreths and sometimes thousandths of a degree.
    So what is the natural state of earth, absent the sun? It would seem to be somewhere close to absolute zero. So what happens when everything is based on zero and we use the Kelvin scale?
    Is there a credible argument that if you measure the sun in absolute terms you must also measure everything else in absolute terms?

  91. Terry J:
    The natural state of the Earth is what it is now. It is naturally doing what it does in response to outside factors. What are the outside factors?

  92. sarah (12:46:29) :
    ‘There is no evidence of an increase in the frequency of strong El Nino events.’

    Of the last 6 strongest El Nino events, the three strongest are the most recent ones.

    Note I said frequency not strength.
    There are seven strong El Ninos, NOAA forgot 1998. The three strongest are 1972, 1983 and 1998 since 1950. Of the seven two 1987 and 1991 fall between the two strongest so your statement that the most recent three have been the strongest is false.

    About the hurricanes
    http://www.weather.com/newscenter/tropical/

    The link you gave me only deals with hurricanes that effect the USA. The USA is not the globe.
    Read this again.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/03/12/global-hurricane-activity-has-decreased-to-the-lowest-level-in-30-years/

  93. I wrote:
    How about 10 years? The Younger Dryas cooling of about 12,000 years ago “began and ended within a decade and for its 1000 year duration the North Atlantic region was about 5°C colder.”
    sarah wrote:

    Excellent case study! Yes these events do occur in nature and this one in particular was triggered by massive in puts of fresh water into the North Atlantic, some argue an El Nino event also assisted.

    You’re sidestepping the issue, Sarah. If a 5°C change within 10 years is within natural variability, why do you say “the Earth’s climate is changing faster than it should by natural variation”? I asked for citations, but you didn’t provide any.

    Right now the Artic ice sheet is being melted from above and below from changes warm water currents in the pacific. This is increasing the amount of freshwater being dumped into the north Altantic leading to colder wetter conditions here. Great for snowboarding in the Alps, but some serious hard ship for all those people who got flooded last summer.
    If predictions are correct and all ice melts in 2013 then it is possible we could see a similar return of the cooling experienced during the Younger Dryas. Hopefully it won’t happen on quite the same extent as there are significantly more people likely to be affected in Europe than back then.

    So if the ice melts and triggers a cooling, then it’s clearly natural variation. CO2 levels lag temperature changes. It’s a mistake to try to control CO2 to the detriment of prosperity when that prosperity is what would enable people to adapt to climate change–whether for warmer or cooler.

  94. Sarah, you wrote, “Something that this artical was trying to disprove by stating that in the past there has been equally large El Nino events so modern warming trends have no effect on their magnitude.”
    But as I illustrated in my links above, the early higher magnitude El Nino events was not news. Here are the links to the raw HADISST and HADSST2 NINO3.4 SST anomaly data again so you don’t have to go searching for them:
    http://s5.tinypic.com/2con29d.jpg
    http://s5.tinypic.com/6j3u5i.jpg
    You wrote, “but more CO2 in the atmosphere does inhibit the ocean loosing heat to space.”
    The hypothesis goes: CO2 warms the top few centimeters of the oceans, then through mixing caused by waves and wind, CO2 also warms the mixing layer and inhibits loss of heat to space. We should then see a higher rate of warming during the more recent period than during the early warming period of the 20th century if CO2 has become a major forcing. But the rates of warming, the trends, for those two periods are fundamentally the same. Refer to:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/03/has-global-warming-accelerated.html
    You wrote, “Looking at your data it appears that global temperature peaks trigger sustained El Nino reoccurances and has done so more since 1900… …No matter how strong these events become there is still heat in the system. It cannot escape out into space quickly enough.”
    Assuming you’re discussing Figure 5 in my post “Low Frequency ENSO Oscillations”, you’re reading too much into the correlation of two totally different datasets. I would think it would be better, if you wanted to compare the two in any detail, that you would apply the Gaussian-weighted filtering to the HADSST NINO3.4 data as opposed to the Mann reconstruction, then perform your comparison. My statement, “Global temperatures lag ENSO events,” had to do with the lag between NINO region SST anomalies and global temperature, which is on the order of 3 to 6 months. Refer to Trenberth et al (2000) “Evolution of El Nino–Southern Oscillation and global atmospheric surface temperatures.”
    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/papers/jgr2001b/jgr2.html
    You wrote, “Assuming this pattern continues and eventually we see a the complete melt of Arctic ice, the resulting freshwater would prevent effective thermohaline circulation in the North Atlantic.”
    What proof is there that variations in sea ice “would prevent effective” THC, other than conjecture? In 2008, sea ice extent varied from ~14.5 million sq km in winter months to ~6.2 million sq km during summer months. Refer to the historical University of Illinois Sea Ice dataset.
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/SEAICE/timeseries.1870-2008
    But in 1870, sea ice extent only varied from ~15.5 million sq km in winter months to ~10.9 million sq km during summer months. During that time, not only has the extent decreased, but the ice volume would have decreased as well, adding even more fresh water to the THC cycle. In recent years, has that increased amount of fresh water prevented effective THC? The AMO still varies and it appears to be impacted more by ENSO than anything else.
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2008/11/atlantic-meridional-overturning.html
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/02/there-are-also-el-nino-induced-step.html
    You wrote, “You can’t really choose to ignore it.”
    I pay closest attention to global, hemispheric, oceanic, and regional SST patterns. Occasionally, I post about LST and TLT, rarely about TSI. If there’s more precipitation over Northern Europe from one year to the next, I wouldn’t know.
    Here’s one more tidbit for you to consider. I’ve shown that global SST anomalies are simply a function of NINO3.4 SST anomalies. Scale the NINO3.4 SST anomalies, plot the running total of the scaled NINO3.4 SST anomalies, and throw in some noise from volcanic eruptions and from variations in TSI and ENSO. It duplicates global SST anomalies better than most GCMs.
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/01/reproducing-global-temperature.html
    Can you do the opposite to reinforce your case?

  95. Political existence and action is justified in part by crises or threat of crises. (Any crisis will do.) The lifeblood of scientific research (and of politics) is money, and money for scientific research often comes from government grants. The political machine has a vested interest in funding scientific research that proves crises and so justifies political existence and action.
    In this light, the debate represented by the above article and previous comments is encouraging. But if and when we do face climate-related crises, politics may not be able to wait until science comes to a consensus about causes and probable future scenarios. It would prefer that “the debate over global warming is over” (as has been claimed) so that its trumpet call to action can be popularly supported and taxation justified.
    We made need to settle for action under threat of possible crisis, but there will be political friction over losing my job, my home, my money, my lifestyle, and my food over a possibility that may be overblown or in error.

  96. somekindofmuffin (05:35:47) :
    Whenever I read or hear anti-global warming ideas all I hear is “i love to litter and pollute. Don’t take that away from me.”
    Then you are not listening, or do not know what the conversation is about.

  97. somekindofmuffin (05:35:47) :

    Whenever I read or hear anti-global warming ideas all I hear is “i love to litter and pollute. Don’t take that away from me.”

    Then you have not been listening. As a skeptic I object to the corruption of science in order to achieve a goal. The goal may be a worthy one but it can be achieved with honesty and openness. Show me one poster on WUWT who advocates the destruction of our forests and wild life or the polluting of our waters or air. If you can then you will find an ally in me against such foolishness.
    The demonizing of CO2 is pure politics and does not stand up to scientific scrutiny.

  98. ‘But as I illustrated in my links above, the early higher magnitude El Nino events was not news’
    Yes Bob I believe we already agreed on this point. That was not my issue. Showing that past El Nino events have been as strong before does not undermine the hypothesis El Nino events will be more common and last longer with each increase in global temperatures. Take a look at the NOAA data set, look what happens after 1980, long protracted El Nino events with a number of strong events.
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2008/
    Whether or not you agree CO2 is the cause of the current warming or not we both agree there is a global average warming trend. I believe that SST anomalies are a symptom of the higher global temperature triggering feedback events, while you believe that increased global average temperatures are due to El Nino events.
    I find that reasoning a bit odd because you and I both agreed that El Nino events are a global cooling mechanism. I don’t think we are going to agree on this until all the climatic feedback mechanisms are properly modelled. Its a chicken and egg debate. It’s been fun debating it though and I’ll be interested to see future conclusions from your work.
    ‘What proof is there that variations in sea ice “would prevent effective” THC, other than conjecture? In 2008, sea ice extent varied from ~14.5 million sq km in winter months to ~6.2 million sq km during summer months. Refer to the historical University of Illinois Sea Ice dataset.
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/SEAICE/timeseries.1870-2008
    But in 1870, sea ice extent only varied from ~15.5 million sq km in winter months to ~10.9 million sq km during summer months. ‘
    There is research on this very subject right now in both the U.K and USA. The geological evidence points to the halting of THC causing the Younger Dryas – I already gave the link above.
    14.5 – 6.2 = 8.3 million sq km of ice that melted in 2008, while 15.5 – 10.9 = 4.6million sq km of ice melt in 1870. Both were cold years yet now we see more dumping of Fresh water into the North Atlantic than was experienced before. Maybe we won’t have to wait too long to find out what the effect will be and put an end to the conjecture. Look at the NOAA SST anomally data over the north Altlantic in 2008, that bulk of cooler water to the NW and trapped mass of heated water near the east coast of the USA. That’s not how the gulf stream is supposed to work. I’m sure this is temporary but it does show how global ocean circulation impacts on localised weather systems.
    ‘The hypothesis goes: CO2 warms the top few centimeters of the oceans, then through mixing caused by waves and wind, CO2 also warms the mixing layer and inhibits loss of heat to space. We should then see a higher rate of warming during the more recent period than during the early warming period of the 20th century if CO2 has become a major forcing. But the rates of warming, the trends, for those two periods are fundamentally the same.’
    By focusing only on SST you miss out on a big part of the picture. The deep oceans are warming, these areas are usually very cold and very stable. If the surface ocean cannot cool then the heat is tranfered to the deep ocean. These effects are still only just being understood.
    http://www-eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/204_2001GL014360.pdf
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080618143301.htm
    Ultimately short and long term heat fluxes between the ocean and atmosphere will still be a subject of research for many years as we attempt to understand and model them. In the meantime I believe it is prudent to limit how much CO2 we release into the atmosphere. It’s a bit late to slam the barn door after you realise the horse really has left.
    ‘Whenever I read or hear anti-global warming ideas all I hear is “i love to litter and pollute. Don’t take that away from me.”
    I think that is a bit unfair to the skeptics.
    I’m sure there are some people out there that have that view, mainly those who drive hefty 4×4’s in the city I should imagine. Who the really needs a land rover to take kids to school in the middle of a city? Not as many as have them for sure. Just like politicians people will sometimes choose the arguement that suits their own agenda. However that isn’t true for every skeptic going.
    It’s really good to be able to have an open honest debate because it brings out the facts from both sides and makes everyone more aware of how things are changing. This means that politicians will be less likely to draw the conclusions they like best from available data and blind people with science.
    It’s been fun, but really I have to get back to work.

  99. Sarah: You wrote: “By focusing only on SST you miss out on a big part of the picture.” And then you provided a few links.
    The 8-year old study by Lindzen is outdated. And the ScienceDaily link contains graphs that are erroneous. Why? Compare the graphs to the commentary below them. It appears they have the wrong graphs or the units are wrong. The units are both sea level where the commentary discusses OHC and SST. Hmmm. I’ll have to look for that paper, if I don’t have it already.
    I’ve also posted on sea level and OHC. They slipped my mind earlier. In fact, my last post on OHC contained a graph from the most recent Levitus paper (in press). Here’s a link to the Levitus et al (2009) paper:
    ftp://ftp.nodc.noaa.gov/pub/data.nodc/woa/PUBLICATIONS/grlheat08.pdf
    The graph compares the times series graphs of OHC from that study with two others, all published within a year of one another. Here’s the graph:
    http://s5.tinypic.com/24v33t4.jpg
    The Levitus et al curve has been relatively flat for five years. And the Ishii & Kimoto curve shows a significant recent drop in OHC. Domingues et al elected not to show the most recent years. Why?
    A link to my post:
    http://bobtisdale.blogspot.com/2009/03/latest-revisions-to-ocean-heat-content.html
    My concluding remark in that post was “A decade from now, when researchers sort out the problems of measuring Ocean Heat Content, when they agree on the methodologies to be used to calculate it, it may serve as a worthwhile measure of climate change. At present it does not.”
    You wrote, regarding the effects of sea ice melt on THC: “There is research on this very subject right now in both the U.K and USA. The geological evidence points to the halting of THC causing the Younger Dryas – I already gave the link above.”
    The Woods Hole link you provided was dated 2003. Lots of hysteria about the slowing of AMOC has come and gone and been disputed and disproved in that time. Got something newer to back your claim?
    I said I didn’t pay attention to weather. I do pay attention to AMOC, OHC, sea level, and the like, though, in addition to SST.

  100. Sarah: Oops forgot. The ScienceDaily link you provided is for the Domigues et al OHC study in the above comparison chart. Graph duplicated again here:
    http://s5.tinypic.com/24v33t4.jpg
    Gleckler was part of that team. Again, although the more recent data was available, why did they elect to end the data in their study in 2003? Curious.
    Here’s a link to the Nature abstract of the Domingues et al (2008) “Improved estimates of upper-ocean warming and multi-decadal sea-level rise”
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7198/abs/nature07080.html
    Regards

  101. Brian D: Be careful with flipping between those 11 maps of SST anomalies. Note that the temperature scale changes, too, from year to year, so you have to account for that.
    I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but I posted the JPL’s Sea Surface Height video on YouTube.

    It’s too bad they haven’t updated those videos.
    Regards

  102. The color code on the scale doesn’t change, Bob, but the length (which would add more color on the end of the scale) and labeling does. It appears like they are different, but really aren’t. I looked at them very carefully.

  103. Earlier, (17:57:43), I had speculated about Atmospheric Angular Momentum being a driver of the Trade Winds which are the driver of the ENSO.
    I found some data to demonstrate this is likely true (or maybe the reverse is true).
    Global Atmospheric Angular Momentum (GLAAM) versus the Nino 3.4 Index back to 1958.
    http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/8463/aamnino34.png
    GLAAM versus the Trade Winds over the ENSO regions back to 1979.
    http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/3893/aamtradewinds.png
    GLAAM data at:
    http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/data/correlation/glaam.data.scaled

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